Wetlands and You

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Ever wonder how wetlands are evaluated? On June 1st community members of Otty Lake were given a hands-on lesson in wetland evaluation by our skilled Adopt-A-Pond staff. What a great day to be outside and in the diverse setting of a natural wetland! Everyone got a bit messy as they learned about different types of wetlands, soils and a few common wetland plants.

Wetlands are the heart of any ecosystem complex. They provide much needed water to not only the life in the wetland itself, but also the vast number of creatures that stop by at intersecting travel corridors. Often considered pools of life, wetlands are a calm and protective home to an abundance of life throughout different levels of the food web. They provide many larger species of birds, reptiles and mammals a safe place to reproduce and a bountiful food source for feeding their young. Wetlands also filter and hold water, preventing erosion, waterway siltation and flooding, while improving the quality of water we use for drinking, fishing and recreation.

The workshop at Otty Lake looked into the more technical evaluation of wetlands and how scientists and consultants rate them using the Ecological Land Classification and Ontario Wetland Evaluation System. We rate wetlands in order to classify the landscape and to determine how one wetland is related to another. Evaluation systems are a great tool to determine what a wetland is worth both environmentally and ecologically. They also provide insight into what areas should be protected for rare species of plants and animals, and what areas show warning signs of environmental degradation.

If you have a wetland on your property and would like to know what it is worth for general interest or in hopes of it achieving Provincially Significant Wetland status, contact Adopt-A-Pond for more information on wetland evaluations.